Quantum Hall effect based on Weyl orbits in Cd3As2

Zhang, C; Zhang, Y; Yuan, X; Lu, SH; Zhang, JL; Narayan, A; Liu, YE; Zhang, HQ; Ni, ZL; Liu, R; Choi, ES; Suslov, A; Sanvito, S; Pi, L; Lu, HZ; Potter, AC; Xiu, FX

Xiu, FX (reprint author), Fudan Univ, State Key Lab Surface Phys, Shanghai, Peoples R China.; Xiu, FX (reprint author), Fudan Univ, Dept Phys, Shanghai, Peoples R China.; Xiu, FX (reprint author), Collaborat Innovat Ctr Adv Microstruct, Nanjing, Jiangsu,

NATURE, 2019; 565 (7739): 331

Abstract

Discovered decades ago, the quantum Hall effect remains one of the most studied phenomena in condensed matter physics and is relevant for research areas such as topological phases, strong electron correlations and quantum computing(1-5). The quantized electron transport that is characteristic of the quantum Hall effect typically originates from chiral edge states-ballistic conducting channels that emerge when two-dimensional electron systems are subjected to large magnetic fields(2). However, whether the quantum Hall effect can be extended to higher dimensions without simply stacking two-dimensional systems is unknown. Here we report evidence of a new type of quantum Hall effect, based on Weyl orbits in nanostructures of the three-dimensional topological semimetal Cd3As2. The Weyl orbits consist of Fermi arcs (open arc-like surface states) on opposite surfaces of the sample connected by one-dimensional chiral Landau levels along the magnetic field through the bulk(6,7). This transport through the bulk results in an additional contribution (compared to stacked two-dimensional systems and which depends on the sample thickness) to the quantum phase of the Weyl orbit. Consequently, chiral states can emerge even in the bulk. To measure these quantum phase shifts and search for the associated chiral modes in the bulk, we conduct transport experiments using wedge-shaped Cd3As2 nanostructures with variable thickness. We find that the quantum Hall transport is strongly modulated by the sample thickness. The dependence of the Landau levels on the magnitude and direction of the magnetic field and on the sample thickness agrees with theoretical predictions based on the modified Lifshitz-Onsager relation for the Weyl orbits. Nanostructures of topological semimetals thus provide a way of exploring quantum Hall physics in three-dimensional materials with enhanced tunability.

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